This season's Easter candy: Jin pastry chef turns into 'Mad Egger'
Assistant pastry chef Annabel Ho at Jin Patisserie calls herself the "Mad Egger" because she's going all out, decorating her chocolate eggs with fantastical characters. At Woodhouse Chocolates (which isn't in L.A. but in St. Helena, Calif., and is one of my favorite chocolate shops), chocolates are molded into not just the shapes of bunnies and chicks but also into spring vegetables such as carrots and asparagus.And they look real.
"Mad Eggs": The 9-by-6-inch dark chocolate hollow eggs at Jin Patisserie are airbrushed with cocoa butter. Each of the 25 that Ho has made this season is one-of-a-kind. This year, her theme is "all about facial expressions." I can't help it; there's something about the one with the lightning-bolt-struck cracked-egg head with its glowing skeleton (pictured at right) that really calls to me. $45 each. 1202 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, (310) 399-8801, www.jinpatisserie.com.
Turn the page for chocolate vegetables, golden eggs, Easter chicken truffles and more.
Eat your veggies: Woodhouse has the requisite chocolate eggs, bunnies and chicks, plus ducks. But it's the realistic spring vegetables (in milk, dark or white chocolate) that are the obvious quirky choice. The deadline for online Easter orders (overnight shipping) is April 1 at 2 p.m., but the chocolate vegetables are available all spring. Solid carrots, $6 each. Solid asparagus, $25 per bundle. 1367 Main St., St. Helena, Calif., (800) 966-3468 or (707) 963-8413, www.woodhousechocolate.com.
Laying golden eggs: Valerie Confections, the Los Angeles chocolatier that makes what might be the best chocolate-covered toffees ever, is offering elegant dark chocolate eggs filled with caramel and finished with 23-karat gold leaf. (And because it's spring, it's hard to resist Valerie's lemon and cassis petits fours -- eight layers of cake and ganache filling dipped in white chocolate and topped with candied pansy petals.) Box of 12 golden eggs, $36. Box of 12 petits fours, $50. 3360 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, (213) 739-8149, www.valerieconfections.com.
Compartes Chocolatier: Custom hand-decorated 3-pound bunnies ($75). 912 S. Barrington Ave., Los Angeles, (310) 826-3380, www.compartes.com.
Madame Chocolat: Chocolate springtime farm animals (prices vary) and chocolate-dipped Peeps ($7 for 4). 212 N. Cañon Drive, Beverly Hills, (310) 247-999, www.madame-chocolat.com.
Teuscher: Easter bunny truffles ($27.95 for a box of 6) and Easter chicken truffles ($35.95 for a box of 8). 9548 Brighton Way, Beverly Hills, www.teuscher-bh.com.-- Betty Hallock
Photo: Jin Patisserie Easter egg; Woodhouse Chocolates' chocolate vegetables; Valerie Confections' golden eggs. Credit: Jin Patisserie; Woodhouse Chocolates; Valerie Confections.